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Obesity, cardiometabolic conditions and COVID-19: Addressing a growing health burden


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Paula Brauer, Doug Klein


Paula Brauer, PhD, RD, FDC - University of Guelph
Doug Klein, MD, FCFP, MSc (Public Health) - University of Alberta

This webinar will alert the audience to the growing health burden of obesity and cardiometabolic conditions in Canada, discuss how the pandemic is contributing to this health problem, and possible ways forward.

Canada continues to face increasingly complex health challenges; with the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the burden of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.

High levels of obesity put Canadians at higher risk for both COVID-19 and these chronic conditions, with one in three children and two out of three adults considered overweight or obese. At least one-third of middle-aged adults that are overweight or have obesity develop various combinations of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other cardiometabolic conditions.

With lock downs, physical distancing and self-isolation restrictions, there are risks of physical inactivity and unhealthy eating, as well as possible opportunities following the resolution of the pandemic to shift activity and eating habits, especially among those already at higher health risk.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed and, in many cases, amplified existing health and social inequities in Canada. It has disproportionately affected Canadians with one or more of the major chronic diseases. The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of the interconnections between our public health, social and economic systems. In doing so, it has underscored the importance of a population health lens to support societal resilience and prosperity.

Learning Objectives


Dr. Paula Brauer was a practicing dietitian before completing a PhD in epidemiology mid-career. Her research in the past 20 years has focused on implementation studies to promote increased legume and vegetable consumption and improve the effectiveness of lifestyle management of obesity and cardiometabolic risk conditions. She was active in primary health care reform in Ontario in the mid-2000s and advised on Family Health Teams. She was a member of the re-formed Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care 2010-15. She chaired the adult obesity guidelines in 2015. A leader in dietetics over most of her career, she has been on the association Board, edited their Journal, and received their highest leadership award. While still research active, she is now most interested in promoting inter-sectoral work to promote implementation research to address the cardio-metabolic conditions.

Dr. Doug Klein is a Professor with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. Dr. Klein is a recognized expert on lifestyle intervention in primary care. His research experience has included both qualitative and quantitative research methods. He has strong connections to primary care physicians through his work with Primary Care Networks in Alberta. He co-founded the MOVE program, a free exercise program for patients in Edmonton and started the CHANGE Adventure Camp for building life skills with children and families. He is passionate about health promotion and the benefits of nature, he can often be found outdoors with his wife and three children.

** Original Source: "CNS Education Webinars" Thursday, March 24, 2021


Type: File

Last Updated: March 26, 2021

Name Type
Paula Brauer: Obesity, cardiometabolic conditions and COVID-19: Addressing a growing health burden File
Doug Klein: Obesity, cardiometabolic conditions and COVID-19: Addressing a growing health burden File
Obesity, cardiometabolic conditions and COVID-19: Addressing a growing health burden Video
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